The Relationship Between the Google Ads Policy and Cryptocurrencies

On September 25, 2018, Google updated its status regarding its cryptocurrency ads policy. The company has once again allowed the placement of ads for cryptocurrency exchanges. They have to go through the registration process on its Google Ads platform. However, this update concerns only the U.S. and Japan. The announcement states that companies that want to promote their cryptocurrencies have to get a special Google certificate for the country where the main target audience is located. Since October 2018, this innovation has taken effect, and advertisers can now apply for certification. One more catch is that ads containing information about ICOs, companies that provide users with crypto consulting, crypto wallets, and trading advice don’t have access to the platform.

Google brought this upgrade to life after the announcement about the cryptocurrency ads policy published in March 2018. It stated that all businesses distributing and promoting cryptocurrencies would be banned from placing ads on the Google Ads platform. They explained their decision by that these ads were “troubling”. The company explained its decision as protecting users from dishonest content such as ICOs, crypto wallets, exchanges, and trade ads.

Moreover, Applicature recalls that social networks such as Twitter and Facebook had banned cryptocurrency ads earlier in 2018.

Facebook has since updated its status regarding pre-approved cryptocurrency advertising campaigns but has kept its status for ICOs. Its cryptocurrency ads policy is similar to Google’s.

A co-founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales commented on this situation, saying that nobody can ban blockchain, because it is math.

What Was Happening in the Crypto World Earlier with Regard to Google Ads?

In July 2018, Google stated that they would ban every cryptocurrency-related ad in order to protect consumers from fraud. This announcement appeared on the Internet despite the implementation of Google’s blockchain. Journalists suggested that the company changed its decision to ban all the cryptocurrency ads because of a Redditor’s screenshot that contained a Coinbase ad. The cryptocurrency community decided that this meant the company had rolled back its ban on digital currencies, or at least created a whitelist that included crypto exchanges such as Coinbase. In order to assuage doubts, Google announced that it hadn’t created any whitelists, and Google’s ad policy hadn’t been changed regarding cryptocurrency-related ads. This was just an ad that had been infiltrated.

Google’s ad policy status hadn’t been updated since March 2018, when Google banned cryptocurrency-related adds after a price upturn and the accompanying hype. The company thought this situation could harm its users.

The cryptocurrency ad ban was commented upon by Scott Spencer, an ad director for Google. He said that it was unclear where the cryptocurrency hype would lead Google consumers, but the company had noticed that cryptocurrencies had harmed its consumers and that was why they wanted to protect them.

In March, the cryptocurrency world had to face the fact that Google had become one of the major platforms that decided to ban cryptocurrency-related ads because of potential harm to users.

Google crypto ad ban in March 2018

On the Internet, an announcement about the Google crypto ad ban appeared for the first time in March 2018. This announcement stated that Google was going to forbid all cryptocurrency ads, including crypto wallets, ICOs, and cryptocurrency trade offers within all of its platforms. The announcement was followed by a similar announcement published by Facebook. The interdiction even included companies issuing legitimate cryptocurrencies. This meant that they were forbidden to place ads on their websites and on third-party websites using Google products.

Among other global companies that have banned digital currencies, Applicature has identified Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. All of these used the same reason to ban cryptocurrency adds.

Later, in June 2018, Facebook left this list. They allowed posting only of pre-approved adds. In addition, they forbid ads that contained information about ICOs and binary options.

Google Cryptocurrency Ad Ban List

Let’s consider the ads currently forbidden by Google in detail.
This list includes:

  1. Ads that contain information about binary options or similar financial products
  2. Advertisements intended for unapproved countries
  3. Ads that contain comprehensive or aggregated information about different companies that issue coins or tokens. This includes investment advice and offers to buy cryptocurrency as well as ads for websites that contain broker reviews.
  4. Cryptocurrency ads, including ICO ads, ads that promote cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency trade offers, and cryptocurrency wallets
  5. Ads that contain information about providers who offer speculative financial products or trade such products, including trade offers and sites with broker reviews and related content.

Google cryptocurrency ads policy

Reasons for the New Google Cryptocurrency Ad Policy

Experts believe that Google’s cryptocurrency ban policy should protect Google users against frauds and scammers. FTC statistics state that just during two first months of 2018, around $500 million was stolen by cryptocurrency scammers. Also, the agency announced that this amount is projected to exceed $3 billion by the end of the year.

Google parent company Alphabet makes around 84 percent of Google’s profit, and they believe that the ecosystem has to be safe and well-protected against fraud and scammers.
Google cryptocurrency ads policy and exchanges

Why did Google decide to update its ads policy?

Google made their decision to change their ad policy status after a wave of Bitcoin price prediction. In this prediction, financial expert Michael Novogratz stated that the price of BTC had reached a low. Before, during the previous nine failed months, Bitcoin had lost around 60% of its value. Other cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, EOS, Litecoin, Ripple, and others, had decreased even more.

Statistics showed that 10 digital currencies have lost around 85% of their value compared to the previous year. At Yahoo Finance’s second annual All Markets Summit, the ex-manager of the hedge fund Novogratz said the BTC price had reached its “classic bottom.” As the price prediction showed, after significant decline, BTC and other cryptocurrencies would get back on the horse.

All Markets Summit

Reasons for Google cryptocurrency ads ban

Initially, people interpreted the Google decision to roll back the ban as an attempt to take control of multiple scams that had caused a significant surge in the price of BTC.

The rollback of the Google ad policy should get really good results in the fight against crypto criminals, especially in the U.S. and Japan.

It is important to add that the initial ban on cryptocurrency-related ads in June caused a price drop of up to 10%. Today, the price of BTC and other digital currencies differs from its initial position at the start of 2018.

Cryptocurrency expert Chris Wilmer states that the reversal of the ban on certified crypto exchanges is a really good step. Also, he states that the ban may have a positive impact on frontrunners in the crypto world, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The professor believes the ban on all cryptocurrency-related ads was a mistake. However, Google and Facebook believe they had to take care of their users and protect them against malicious content. He believes that the higher the price of BTC, the more people will realize that this is a really important and innovative technology capable of changing the global financial system. A partial reversal of the ban on cryptocurrency ads will help established financial companies to promote their blockchain products via Google ads.

Cryptocurrencies Expert Chris Wilmer

This rollback didn’t come as a surprise in the cryptocurrency world. Even during the original updating of Google’s cryptocurrency ad policy, it didn’t deny that the company may scrap the ban on cryptocurrency-related ads. They wanted to do this extremely carefully.

Consequences of Google Cryptocurrency Ban

Let’s consider the consequences of the Google cryptocurrency policy for the cryptocurrency world.

Multiple trusted cryptocurrency exchanges believe that the new Google ad policy has had a positive impact on the ICO market. The filter on cryptocurrency ads helps trusted companies remove scamming competitors from the cryptocurrency business.

The Google cryptocurrency ad policy will also help government agencies build a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency companies and protect consumer safety from malicious cryptocurrency organizations.

Hopefully, if government is able to provide users with reliable regulation of cryptocurrency startups, ICOs, blockchain products, and cryptocurrency wallets, Facebook and Google will decline their ban on cryptocurrency ads.

In order to promote their cryptocurrency products, cryptocurrency companies can still use other means, including SEO and driving organic traffic.
Call-only Ads Policy

Conclusion

On September 25, 2018, Google updated its status regarding the cryptocurrency ads policy. It has allowed the placement of certified ads for cryptocurrency exchanges targeted at U.S. and Japanese audiences. Google founders say that the new cryptocurrency ad policy should help protect their users from harmful and malicious content. However, financial experts think that it’s a fight against cryptocurrency hype.

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